ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


American House

West Water Street [now South Water]

“Located at the corner of Water and Emmet streets”


Watertown City Directory, 1899-1900



    American House ad, Watertown Chronicle, 06 30 1847



Residents of Watertown held a "plank road ball" in the American House in February of 1848.


1859      St. Patrick's Day celebration



03 31          We learn that Mr. Joseph Lindon has purchased the property on the west side of the river known as the American House, formerly owned by Mr. Peter Rogan and by him used as a tavern some years since.  It is the intention of Mr. Lindon to repair and overhaul the old building, raise it up several feet, and fit it up for a first class hotel and occupy if for that purpose.  It is conveniently situated on West Avenue [West Main St.], near the central and business part of the city and no doubt, under Mr. Lindon’s management, become paying property.   WD



01 05          A. D. Hitchkock, proprietor of the American House, will formally open the house next Friday evening with a Social Party.   WR



07 03       The American House, on West Water Street is being remodeled by Jerry Burke.  The roof is to be raised about eight feet.  Other improvements are to be made which, when completed, will make the house attractive and home-like.   WD


07 24       The American House, on West Water Street, is being enlarged and improved in many respects.  One or two additions are being built, and the roof of the main structure has been raised one story higher.  When the work of remodeling is finished, this hotel will be a convenient and pleasant place to stop at.    WD



11 08       Mr. Michael Owens died at the home of his son in Eau Claire on Friday of last week.  He formerly lived in Watertown and was one of the best known and most highly respected pioneers of that place.  He was for many years the proprietor of the American House, now owned and run by Mr. Christopher Smith.  The news of Mr. Owens death is sad to many of the old settlers of Watertown, who knew him in the prime of life.  Juneau Tel

Cross Reference:

Christopher Smith, 1909, 216 W Main, saloon




Last Thursday Christopher Smith sold the American House property, located at the corner of Water and Emmet streets, to James Spear, the consideration being $6,000.  The real estate comprises one-quarter block, the frame hotel, brick barn and other buildings.  In the sale are also included the hotel furniture, ’bus line, etc.  Mr. Spear, who has been conducting a restaurant on West Main Street, will take possession of the hotel at once and become its landlord.  It is one of the old-established hostelries of the city, enjoying a profitable trade.  After years of service as "mine host,” Mr. Smith will retire to private life with his family.  They will for the present occupy the R. Lewis residence at 400 North Church Street.   WR




When the Third Ward polls were opened on election day and ready for business, it was found that the ballot box which had been delivered at the polling place at the American House the night previous was missing.  A box was quickly constructed, however, and the voting went merrily on without any further interference.  About 10 o’clock that morning the missing box was found in a back room of the third story of the hotel, supposed that a guest at the hotel hid the box thinking it was a good April Fool joke.  WG



05 21       Sold by Spear to Merriman; leased by William Cooper   WG


Joseph Blouin of Fall River, Mass., has purchased the hotel furniture and good will of the American House of William Cooper and has taken possession of the same.  He is a brother-in-law of J. T. Heon, proprietor of the Northwestern Hotel, and comes to our city well recommended as a hotel man and good citizen.   WG



05 25       ROBBED A BLIND MAN

Friday evening a blind man arrived in this city from Richland Center and put up at the American House.  He was met by a man at the hotel who pretended to know him, and they went to a room together.  Shortly after the stranger left the hotel, saying the blind man was asleep and that he would return later for lodging.  The stranger did not return and when the blind man awoke he found that he had been robbed of $30 in cash, a certificate of deposit on a Richland Center bank and a new overcoat.  The fellow who is accused of the robbery was only a short time in the city and expected to go to work Saturday digging gas trenches here.   WG


1913      118-120 S. Water, Boarding House




The American House at the corner of Water and Lafayette streets was torn down this week by Jas. D. Casey, who recently purchased the property.  The hotel was built in 1849 by the late Michael Owens, who conducted it for many years.  WG


11 11          J. D. Casey is breaking ground for a new automobile garage on his property in Water Street, north of the site formerly occupied by the American House.  The building will be fireproof, one story, and will have a frontage of 80 feet and a depth of 60 feet. Mr. Casey has the local agency for Maxwell automobiles and other cars.   WG





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin